Trees grow and energy flows beneath the red hill


Walk in the shadow of the red hill at Inverlael

As well as the most popular path up Ben Dearg, the red mountain, there are some pleasant routes in the forest, with superb views.

You may notice a small turbine house near the road and a weir across the river Lael close to where the hill path leaves the forest. They’re part of a ‘run of river’ hydro-electric scheme, which uses the natural fall of the stream to generate enough power for a town the size of Ullapool – all with very little impact on the environment.

Parking Walking Mountain access

Life’s essentials

You’ll find places to eat and public toilets in Ullapool.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

If you’re heading for Beinn Dearg, check for advice on hill walking: this is open, wild country and you need to be confident at navigating and properly equipped. You’ll find details of the route on WalkHighlands and MunroMagic, as well as photographs to whet your appetite for the deep rocky corries that plunge down from the dome-shaped summit.

Wildlife in Siberia

Lael forest was first planted in the 1930s, when the forest workers found the weather so harsh they nicknamed it ‘Siberia’…

It’s now in its second rotation, meaning that the timber has been cropped and new trees are growing in their place. We've planted plenty of broadleaved trees such as oak, birch and rowan to improve the habitat and diversity of the forest. You may see red deerdeer roaming the hillside, or even golden eagles soaring overhead.

Contact: North Highland Forest District

Address: The Links, Golspie Business Park, Golspie

Postcode: KW10 6UB

Telephone: 0300 067 6850


How to get here

Inverlael is on the A835 between Ullapool and Garve, about 6 miles (9.6 km) south of Ullapool. A red telephone box makes a useful landmark next to the car park, which is at grid reference NH 182 852.

Using SatNav?

IV23 2RG is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Buses between Garve and Ullapool pass the forest. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Nearby places

Just down the road, you can discover an amazing collection of exotic trees in beautiful Lael Forest Garden. There’s another superb hill walk from Ben Wyvis.

If you’re heading south, don't miss the spectacular waterfalls and trails at nearby Corrieshallach Gorge, a National Nature Reserve in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.